This article is part of a series about the typical stages and phases of complex engineering projects. Each article takes one stage and describes how Assai supports the requirements and common challenges of that stage – ultimately contributing to the efficient, timely, (cost-)effective and safe delivery of projects. 

The Construction & Installation phase is the 7th stage in complex engineering projects
The Construction & Installation phase is the 7th stage in complex engineering projects.

Construction & Installation in a nutshell

The Construction & Installation stage follows after Procurement & Fabrication. Construction and installation involve putting all the various components and materials that have been procured and fabricated together on-site to create the finished project/asset – based on the final approved documents and drawings. This typically includes activities such as assembling structures, installing mechanical and electrical systems, and testing the completed project to ensure that it meets the required specifications.

In practice, it may not always be possible to construct and install everything exactly as designed, which is why this stage is concluded with the “as-building” process to align all drawings with the reality where deviations were required (see below).

Construction and installation are the final steps in the engineering project process, and they are typically overseen by a construction manager or project manager. Completion of this stage is often referred to as “mechanical completion”. This is traditionally the end of the EPC contract scope, but depending on the contract model, the responsibility of the EPC contractor may extend further, e.g. to also cover pre-commissioning and commissioning.


For various reasons, engineering designs on paper cannot always be constructed and installed exactly as designed. For instance, due to physical limitations or later design variations, pipelines or cables may have been routed or connected differently than shown in the latest “approved for construction” (AFC) drawing.

To enable safe and efficient operations, it is important that all drawings in the eDMS are matching with the real situation on-site. This requires engineers to do site walks, highlighting differences between the design drawings and how things have been constructed in reality. This is typically done by marking up drawings (redlining, red-blue markups), either physically or digitally, which then need to be updated by a designer using CAD tools or other software.

After checking a drawing and incorporating any markups into a new revision, its status in the eDMS can be updated to reflect this: As-built (AB or ASB). Standards for revision codes and statuses can vary per project and organization.

Construction and installation based on detailed design drawings.
Construction and installation based on detailed design drawings.

Project risks during Construction & Installation

There are several risks that can arise during the construction & installation phase of engineering projects, and need to be addressed, including:

  • Cost overruns: The cost of materials, labour, or other expenses can exceed the original estimates, resulting in higher costs than expected.
  • Schedule delays: The project may take longer than expected to complete, leading to delays and potential loss of revenue.
  • Quality issues: Poor workmanship or defective materials can lead to subpar quality, which can affect the safety, performance, and durability of the project.
  • Health and safety risks: Construction sites can be dangerous environments, and workers and the public may be at risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Environmental impacts: Construction and installation activities can have negative impacts on the environment, such as air and water pollution or destruction of natural habitats.
  • Changes in project scope: The scope of the project may change during construction and installation, leading to additional costs or delays.
  • Legal issues: Disputes or claims related to contracts, permits, or other legal issues can arise during construction and installation, potentially leading to costly delays or legal liabilities.
Construction and installation based on approved designs and specifications.
Construction and installation based on approved designs and specifications.

How Assai supports Construction & Installation

Assai is a comprehensive, user-friendly, centralized (cloud) platform for accessing and controlling unlimited amounts of project documentation. It offers advanced (automated) distribution features, access control, detailed audit trails, and supports a fully digital, paperless working environment. Assai streamlines and improves collaboration and communication, and helps to mitigate the many risks associated with construction & installation.

Assai provides out-of-the-box functionality for each project stage (and operations), based on more than 30 years of experience. Key Assai features supporting Construction & Installation include:

  • Easy access for all stakeholders to required project documentation
  • Excellent version control with latest revisions always on top
  • Digital Construction Work Packages (CWP)
  • Easy online exchange of documents and drawings with contractors (Assai Portal)
  • Track official distribution and stakeholder actions with transmittals
  • Flexible asset breakdown structures to find documentation by system, unit, tag or equipment
  • As-building made simple with integrated redline markup (RLMU) file upload and digital redlining on tablets (Assai Mobile)
  • Process redline markup files to get all drawings to as-built status
  • Empower authorized engineers or designers to check out and revise/update drawings
  • Grant access to source / native files only for those who need this
  • Digital (bulk) stamping and electronic signatures
  • Technical Query module to handle any kind of request or deviation
  • Live progress and bottlenecks with Assai’s advanced planning & reporting features
  • Extensive REST API library to integrate/interface with other systems

Plus, as seen in previous articles:

  • Assai offers a proven, specialized, user-friendly and secure eDMS for all project deliverables, no matter the project size or complexity. Everything is traceable and can be reported on.
  • Assai Cloud (or on-premises) is a flexible, turnkey solution with out-of-the-box support for engineering projects from start to end, plus operations, maintenance & modifications, and Digital Twin environments.


We hope you found this article about the Construction & Installation stage interesting and useful. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback, or if you would like to explore with us how Assai could support your project(s).

A short summary of what was discussed in this article:

  • The construction and installation stage follows after procurement & fabrication.
  • Construction and installation involve assembling and installing all the components and materials to create the finished project or asset.
  • This stage is concluded with the “as-building” process to update design drawings with any deviations made during construction.
  • Construction & installation knows many risks; for instance: cost overruns, schedule delays, scope changes, HSE risks and legal issues.
  • A robust eDMS system specialized in engineering & construction helps to mitigate these risks. It forms an invaluable asset for the successful execution of the construction and installation phase – efficiently, safely, on time and within budget.
  • Many industry leaders worldwide trust Assai as their eDMS solution of choice, which is based on 30+ years of industry experience and best practices. Assai promises (and delivers) true out-of-the-box support for all project stages including Construction & Installation, as well as for operations, maintenance & modifications, and Digital Twins.

Download the 50+ page PDF!

If you would like to read all articles in a 50+ page PDF which you can print or distribute in your organization, you can download them via the form below:

Previous stage: Procurement & Fabrication

Next stage: Pre-Commisioning

All articles in this series:

Feasibility Study
Conceptual Design
Detailed Design
Procurement & Fabrication
Construction & Installation (current article)

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